Today, information is everywhere; it is cheap, it is instant, and it is constant. Technology is the intravenous fix for the wonderjunkie in all of us, but unlike other addictions, this one is healthy. We should embrace the discomfort of insights unfamiliar to us and live outside of our filter bubbles.
These 3D portraits were created using only a person’s DNA
Stranger Visions is an art project which tries to determine what we look like based on a single strand of hair.
How much information about ourselves do we leave behind in public, as we shed saliva, hair, and sweat throughout the day? It’s a question that drives the artwork of Heather Dewey-Hagborg, whose project Stranger Visions reconstructs the faces of the anonymous as 3-D printed sculptures, using genetic detritus found in chewing gum, cigarette butts, and wads of hair around New York City.
"Intimacy 2.0" dress becomes transparent when you get aroused
You don’t get to choose whether this dress is revealing or not — your carnal instincts do.
The ‘Intimacy 2.0’ dress, designed by Daan Roosegaarde, is getting a rise out of the fashion world because its opaque fabric becomes transparent when you get aroused. Finally, all the cards will be on the table. You’ll have your date saying, “Is your dress disappearing, or are you just happy to see me?”
The already barely-there garment features ribbons of leather and opaque “e-foils,” which can detect the model’s heartbeat, the Daily Mail reports.
Programming plays a huge role in the world that surrounds us, and though its uses are often purely functional, there is a growing community of artists who use the language of code as their medium. Their work includes everything from computer generated art to elaborate interactive installations, all with the goal of expanding our sense of what is possible with digital tools.
A stained-glass spiral of cells from an aloe plant, an old-growth forest of neural cells in the retina of a mouse, a starry sea of leaf hairs on a garden shrub—organisms have a way of reinventing themselves rather spectacularly under the microscope, giving observers a new appreciation for what Charles Darwin termed nature’s “endless forms most beautiful.” In these tiny worlds, beauty arises from both the brilliance of evolution’s small-scale solutions to life’s challenges and the techniques microscopists use to visualize biological structures and processes. To peer through the eyepiece is to discover a universe in an embryo, an organ, a cell. As Igor Siwanowicz of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute puts it, “microscopy allows me to see beyond the cuticle, explore the baroque arrangement of muscle fibers or intricate fractal-like network of neurons, and appreciate that beauty (probably in the most subjective sense possible) isn’t only skin deep.” Siwanowicz is among the winners of the 2012 Olympus BioScapes International Digital Imaging Competition, which welcomes entries from scientists and hobbyists alike. His images and other entries that caught Scientific American’s eye grace the pages that follow. We hope you enjoy this armchair safari into miniature realms where science and art converge.
But art to-day must be pursued like everything else, by steam. Artists are turned out in factories, that is, in so-called conservatories, or by teachers who give lessons ten or twelve hours a day. In two years they receive a certificate of competence, or at least the diploma of the factory. The latter, especially, I consider a crime, that the state should prohibit. All the inflexibility and unskillfulness, mistakes and deficiencies, which were formerly disclosed during a long course of study, do not appear now, under the factory system, until the student’s public career has begun. There can be no question of correcting them, for there is no time, no teacher, no critic; and the executant has learned nothing, absolutely nothing, whereby he could undertake to distinguish or correct them.
Visual artist Brusspup will blow your mind with the illusions in this video. The creator, he uses a technique called anamorphosis to exploit our brains’ faulty interpretation of depth.
It’s been known since the days of Ancient Greece that distorted two-dimensional art could look “normal” from a certain viewing spot. Artists have been exploiting this for ages, under the more common name of “perspective”. Because our eyes essentially act as fixed points in space for photons to shoot into, the light from the scenes around us enters as straight lines. Anything that you can see could be traced to a beam of light in a cone that has its tip on your retina.
A brand new art installation honoring the memory and work of astronomer Carl Sagan has been unveiled at the Cornell University Campus. Designed by artist Leo Villareal, the dynamic light display is located on the ceiling of the Sherry and Joel Mallin Sculpture Court — what can be seen on campus and from within the city of Ithaca itself.
Called Cosmos, the ever-changing piece is generated by nearly 12,000 LEDs of white light. The configurations are all pre-programmed with algorithmic sequences — what creates an non-repeating visual display that’s meant to convey abstract interpretations of nature, including moving water, clouds, and of course, the night sky.
In 2004 Barrett Lyon’s friends bet him $50 that he couldn’t map the entire Internet in a day. Within two weeks the self-described technologist and entrepreneur had created a program that could output a detailed visualization of Internet connectivity in a few hours. Seven years and billions more Internet-connected devices later, Lyon is still at it. This cosmic-looking image, one of his newest creations, traces the millions of routes along which data can travel and pinpoints the hubs receiving the most traffic. Internet giants such as AT&T and Google manage the most heavily used networks, which appear here as glowing yellow orbs; they tend to concentrate in the center of the sphere. The less popular local networks (red) sit on the periphery. Although Lyon’s visualizations have appeared in computing textbooks and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, he says he has yet to collect on his bet.